John Adams submitted this report on the recent New York International show and the Kolbe Stack Family Numismatic Library auction.
Seeing Alan Weinberg's notes on the FUN Convention prompted me to write to you about the New York International. This show focuses on classical coinage, medals and the European series. It brings together the leading dealers from Europe and the U.S. who, because of the high cost of the show, can be relied upon to bring excellent offerings for the bourse.
There are half a dozen auctions associated with the show, the only one of which that we attended being George Kolbe's sale of the Stack Family Library. Here, complete runs of the AJN and The Numismatist went for less than estimate whereas almost every thing else went above. Desirable items, such as Clapp on 1798-1799, Newcomb 0n !801-02-03 and Gilbert on 1796 were made even more desirable by the inclusion of relevant correspondence from the large cents great and, in the case of the Gilbert, a set of the Brobston plates (of which only three are known). A truly memorable sale made all the more so by the presence of Harvey and Larry Stack.
Back to the show, included therein was the annual ANS Gala, this year honoring Victor England, a highly respected dealer in classical coinage. Despite a ticket price of $500 per head, more than 200 individuals attended, including many of the great names in our hobby. Despite the pricey entrance fee, the food, wine, dancing, special auctions and good company are well worth it.
The bourse is a folksy affair, spread out into a number of smaller rooms as well as the one large one. Hearing many languages spoken enhances the atmosphere of a bazaar as compared to a meat market. Not to brag but to illustrate the menu, Regina and I acquired a multithaler, an electro of a multithaler, a Betts medal, a Comitia Americana trial piece, two Admiral Vernon's, a terracotta portrait by Reynaud and two cat medals.
Fortunately, we don't collect ancients. (We did view one to be auctioned: a sixth century gold medallion given by the Emperor Tiberius II to his daughter on the occasion of her marriage. The medallion came complete with an intricate border attached, a heavy hangar (both of these in gold) and an estimate of $2,500,000 !
Also part of the International are a number of club meetings. We attended one for Medal Collectors of America where we were treated to an outstanding talk by Ben Weiss on medals depicting intolerance. There were over forty in attendance, which would be an above average crowd for the Numismatic Theatre in August.
All in all, the show has much to offer which can be found nowhere else.
Thanks for great the report! While the International may sport the United States' Most Pompous Tag Line (see the fine print in the logo above), it's hard to argue that there's a more prestigious numismatic event in the country at any time of the year. It's one of the few major events I'm sorry to say I haven't attended, but I'll look forward to it someday.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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